Addicts spend Rs 11 lakh monthly on drugs: IMHANS study

Srinagar: In a shocking revelation, drug addicts in Kashmir are consuming drugs worth Rs 11 lakh every month, a survey by the Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience (IMHANS), Kashmir reveals.

According to the ‘Prevalence and Pattern of Substance Use in 10 districts of Kashmir: A 2022 survey’ conducted by IMHANS, Rs 9 lakh is worth heroin, Rs 1 lakh cannabis and Rs 1.30 lakh pharmaceutical opioids are consumed in Kashmir every month. .

Kashmir has about 67,468 drug addicts.

Kulgam district tops the list with abusers spending Rs 1,01,660 on heroin every month while it was lowest in Baramulla district at Rs 71,020.

According to the data, heroin worth Rs 89,134 was consumed in Anantnag, Rs 1,00,202 in Bandipora, Rs 88,995 in Baramulla, Rs 74,694 in Budgam, Rs 87,392 in Kupwara, Rs 88,529 in Srinagar, Rs 1,00,165 to Shopian and Rs 81,726 to Pulwama.

Similarly, for cannabis, Ganderbal said he spent the least at Rs 2,415 and Kupwara said he spent the most at Rs 23,272.

For pharmaceutical opioids, Baramulla said to have spent the least with Rs 5,083 and Bandipora was said to have spent the highest at Rs 22,264.

According to the survey, substance use is prevalent among young men.

“The mean age of substance users was 28.15 years with a standard deviation of 7.44 and substance use was observed mainly among the unemployed population (25.2%),” the study found. .

Furthermore, opioids were the most commonly used psychoactive substance in all districts of Kashmir, with heroin being the predominant opioid.

According to doctors at IMHANS-K, the average heroin consumption is 1-2 grams per day which costs them around Rs 3000 to Rs 6000.

“As heroin is expensive, to meet the expenses, they engage in various illegal activities, starting with stealing from their family members, selling their gadgets, incurring debts, thefts and also engaging in trafficking drugs,” they said.

“Unfortunately, if we see, the increase in crime may be a consequence of substance use, but we don’t have to criminalize it. We are already aware of the associated health burden, but it also represents a huge economic burden for an individual and the society as a whole.This economic burden also creates a huge revenue generating market for those involved in this business.If we see across the world, the drug related market is the third largest business with a turnover of 500 billion US dollars.

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